ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP)–As another week of relief work begins in the Gulf region of Texas and Louisiana, Southern Baptists disaster relief volunteers surpassed the milestone of preparing more than 2 million hot meals in the wake of Hurricanes Ike and Gustav.
More than 100 units from 19 state Baptist conventions continue serving in Texas in response to the needs created by Hurricane Ike which struck the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast on Saturday, Sept. 13. In Louisiana, meanwhile, 97 Southern Baptist disaster relief units and/or teams serving with the Red Cross and Salvation Army continue to be deployed.
On Monday, the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention closed a feeding site in Huntsville, Texas, 70 miles north of Houston, and opened a site in Galveston. The site will be manned by volunteers from the Texas convention, Illinois, Arizona and Oklahoma and will include three feeding units with the ability to produce up to 60,000 meals a day if needed.
Southern Baptist disaster relief leaders said sites north of Houston will begin closing in the next few days as power returns to the area and victims have the ability to obtain food elsewhere. Local officials in Houston have contacted SBC disaster relief leaders to request shower units for an evacuee site they are establishing in the city of Houston.
In addition to preparing more than 2.1 million hot meals, Southern Baptists have served more than 40,000 volunteer days, completed 1,236 chainsaw jobs, provided 24,561 showers, purified 7,008 gallons of water and finished 4,960 loads of laundry. Volunteers have had 13,420 ministry contacts while chaplains have had 1,569 contacts. Volunteers and chaplains have had the privilege of leading 125 people to Christ in the three weeks since the Gustav/Ike responses began.
Mike Ebert is publications and media relations coordinator for the North American Mission Board. For more information about SBDR ministry efforts or to make a donation, visit www.namb.net.